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Japan provides Bhutan US$21 million for new infectious disease center

Japan signed a grant agreement with Bhutan for up to ¥3 billion (US$21 million) to support the Project for the Construction of Royal Centre for Infectious Diseases.

The project aims to increase capacities for proper diagnosis and treatment of serious infectious diseases, disease prevention, and development of crisis response. The funds will be used to build a state-of-the-art Royal Centre for Infectious Diseases (RCID) and provide necessary medical equipment. It is hoped that the project will strengthen Bhutan’s ability to respond to future outbreaks of infectious disease. The project is in line with Sustainable Development Goal three (good health and well-being) and is expected to be completed by 2027.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency

Japan establishes Global Health Strategy Division

On September 26, 2022, Japan established a new office within the International Cooperation Bureau known as the Global Health Strategy Division.

The new division will be responsible for planning, drafting, and coordinating policy and initiatives relating to international health issues. The Global Health Strategy Division indicates Japan's ambitions to collaboratively strengthen the global health architecture, improve the global response to health emergencies, and achieve universal health coverage with public, private, academic, and civil society stakeholders.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

EU pledges US$48 million over 6 years to UNFPA Supplies Partnership

On September 24, 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an EU pledge of €45 million (US$48 million) over six years to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership during the Global Citizen Festival on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. 

The funding will support sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s rights for more than 20 million women and girls in 54 countries around the world.

Press release - European Commission

Press release - UNFPA

Norway presents development priorities at UNGA

Over the week of September 19, 2022, Norway’s delegation to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) was led by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide and representatives from the Parliament attended together with Støre.

In advance of the high-level week in New York, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented Norway`s main priorities for UNGA 77, including:

  1. Support for Norway’s efforts as an elected member of the UN Security Council and promote Norway’s broad priorities in the UN;
  2. Promoting binding international cooperation and respect for international law and safeguarding the multilateral system;
  3. Leading efforts to promote disarmament;
  4. Strengthening the UN’s capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts;
  5. Strengthening human rights and the international legal order;
  6. Strengthening the UN’s capacity to prevent and respond to humanitarian crises and promoting international cooperation on refugees and migrants; and
  7. Promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with particular emphasis on climate and environmental issues, energy, food security, gender equality, health, the oceans, and reducing inequalities.

The Prime Minister and the rest of the Norwegian delegation were very active during UNGA 77. Norway`s participation can be summed up in the following activities:

Keynote speech during the General Assembly
During the General Assembly, the Prime Minister delivered Norway's keynote speech and emphasized that the Russian war in Ukraine is a direct violation of the UN Charter and the global legal order, and indicating that the responsibility for stopping the war lay with Russia.  At the same time, he pointed out the war's impact on existing global crises, such as high energy prices, food shortages, and development in low-income countries. Støre called for global unity to protect the multilateral system.

Meeting in the UN Security Council
Støre also participated in a separate meeting, led by France in the UN Security Council, on the war in Ukraine. Norway and other members of the council agreed that Russia's warfare is a violation of humanitarian law and human rights.

Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting
Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, chaired the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting during UNGA. The aim of the meeting was to mobilize support for the United Nations Organization for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA), which is facing severe challenges related to its budget.

Meeting about the situation in Sahel 
Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development attended a high-level meeting on the situation in Sahel, led by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union. The purpose of the meeting was to launch a high-level panel for security, development and good governance in Sahel.

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People
More than 100 countries committed to protecting at least 30 percent of the earth's land and seas by 2030. Espen Barth Eide, Minister for Climate and Environment attended the first steering committee meeting of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People. This is an intergovernmental group championing a global deal for nature and people that can halt the accelerating loss of species, and protect vital ecosystems that are the source of our economic security.

Article - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Spain's Sánchez shares pledges, development priorities at UNGA

On September 22, 2022, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed a statement to the plenary session of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) outlining Spain's development priorities of global health, food security, climate change, education, and gender equality.

Sánchez reiterated his commitment to increasing Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of its gross national income by 2030, as underlined in the development cooperation bill that will be approved by the end of 2022.

He also provided updates on Spanish development finance and strategic priorities. Key takeaways included:

  • Sánchez's announcement that Spain would disburse up to €237 million (US$235 million) from 2023 - 2026 to foster global health initiatives, including a €130 million (US$129 million) pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and other instruments related to pandemic preparedness and global health R&D;
  • A €237 million (US$235 million) pledge aimed at addressing the current food crisis caused by the Ukrainian war;
  • An agreement between Spain and Senegal to promote the creation of an International Alliance for Resilience for Drought, an initiative that will be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference COP 2022 to be held in Egypt in November;
  • The establishment of the UN's GIGA Technology Center for digital education in Barcelona; and
  • A statement that Spain will contribute €100 million (US$99 million) over 2023 - 2026 to different organizations, including UN Women, that work on gender equality and particularly on sexual rights and reproductive health programs.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

 

EU pledges US$710 million for 7th Global Fund Replenishment

On September 21, 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU will contribute €715 million (US$710 million) to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) for its Seventh Replenishment for 2023-2025. 

This contribution is a 30% increase from the €550 million (US$546 million) pledge the EU made to the Global Fund for 2020-2022.The pledge supplements the €150 million (US$149 million) the EU provided earlier this year to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism to provide support for personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests, and therapeutics.

Von der Leyen announced the pledge at the Global Fund’s replenishment event in New York City during the week of the UN General Assembly. The Global Fund is aiming to raise US$18 billion for 2023 - 2025;  as of September 27, 2022, the Replenishment has raised US$14.3 billion. 

With this pledge, the EU will have committed more than €3.5 billion (US$3.5 billion) to the Global Fund since it was started in 2002. 

Press release - Global Fund

Press release - European Commission 

Statement - European Commission

News article - Euractiv

Canada pledges US$904 million for 7th Global Fund Replenishment

At the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment pledging conference on September 21, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will commit CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (Global Fund). 

Trudeau also announced CA$100 million (US$75 million) for the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism, which helps countries to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on programs to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, and initiates urgent improvements in health and community systems.

Over the past 20 years, 50 million lives have been saved through the Global Fund partnership and Canada’s CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) contribution is expected to save 20 million more.

Press release - Global Fund

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Australia pledges US$178 million for 7th Global Fund Replenishment

On September 21, 2022, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong announced Australia would contribute A$266 million (US$178 million) from 2022 - 2025 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

The pledge comprises a 10% increase on Australia’s pledge of A$242 million (US$170 million) at the Global Fund replenishment in 2019. Advocates had been hoping to achieve at least a 30% increase.

Wong noted the ongoing burden of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as the particular threat to children posed by malaria.

Australia’s Global Fund pledge supports global efforts to end TB, HIV, and malaria by 2030. Australia continues to support countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific through its bilateral programs addressing disease prevention, control, and treatment.

Press release- Minister for Foreign Affairs
News article- Global Citizen

 

South Korea contributes US$30 million to Pandemic Preparedness FIF

At a UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on September 21, 2022, South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol highlighted South Korea's US$30 million commitment to the Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF).

Yoon also emphasized South Korea's increased fundraising for ODA despite recent budget cuts. He acknowledged the importance of the FIF for mobilizing sufficient resources to prepare for future pandemics and highlighted South Korea's contributions to other global health efforts, such as its US$300 million commitment to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).

News article – Yonhap Infomax (in Korean)

Spain pledges US$137 million to Global Fund, US$16 million to Pandemic Preparedness FIF

On September 21, 2022, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a contribution of 130 million (US$137 million) for the period 2023 - 2025 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Though the pledge fell short of the Spanish civil society ask of 180 million (US$190 million), it still represented a 30% increase compared to what Spain pledged in the last replenishment held in 2019 (EUR100 million or US$106 million). The global health NGO ‘Salud por Derecho’ applauded Spain's contribution to the effort and broader global health agenda.

Sánchez made the announcement at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Goalkeepers conference that was also held in New York on September 21, 2022.  Afterward, he took personally part at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment, which was hosted by US President Joe Biden. In addition to Spain's pledge to the Global Fund, Sánchez revealed that Spain will contribute 15 million (US$16 million) to the World Bank’s Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

News article – El País (in Spanish)

Press release – Salud por Derecho

France pledges US$1.6 billion to Global Fund, US$253 million to Unitaid

During the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) on September 21, 2022, French President Macron announced an increase in France's contribution by €300 million (US$288 million), for a total of €1.6 billion (US$1.6 billion) for 2023 - 2025.

20% of the amount will be channeled through the French bilateral agency, L'Initiative to support technical assistance through Francophone expertise. Macron also announced that an additional €255 million (US$253 million) will be allocated to Unitaid to reduce the cost of treatments for AIDS and malaria.

Twitter - Élysée (in French)

Press release - Global Fund

Japan’s Kishida delivers remarks at UNGA calling for greater human security

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 20, 2022, and called for increased support for human security.

During his remarks, Kishida reiterated Japan's commitment to collaborative problem-solving with the UN and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS). The prime minister also mentioned Japan's US$30 billion investment in Africa with an emphasis on human resource development and capacity building at TICAD 8 (the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in August 2022, and expressed Japan's commitment to supporting education efforts based on the results of the UN Transforming Education Summit, which was held from September 16 -19, 2022.

Kishida also reinforced Japan’s commitment to global health, highlighting the country's US$5 billion in support for global COVID-19 response. He further reiterated that Japan will take lead in strengthening global health architecture and achieving universal health coverage as the G7 Summit lead in 2023.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

EU reaffirms commitment to minimum 3% ODA increase for education at Transforming Education Summit

On September 21, 2022, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to global education at the Transforming Education Summit, including its pledge to increase the proportion of its development assistance for global education from 7% to 10%, or approximately US$540 million. 

At the summit in New York City on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the EU also highlighted the role of its Global Gateway initiative in mobilizing education investments, such as its Global Gateway Investment Package on Education, Skills and Technical and Vocational Training, which was announced at the 2022 EU-Africa Summit. 

The EU has also dedicated 10% of its humanitarian assistance to education in emergencies. It acknowledged the critical role of protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights as a part of its commitment to education. 

Press release - European Commission

Education - European Union

New hospital in Bangladesh completed with US$98 million loan from Korea Eximbank

On September 19, 2022, Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-geun and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) Director Jeon Jeon-deok gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to celebrate the completion of the Medical University General Center Hospital, which received a US$98 million loan in support.

The project was coordinated by the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which currently prioritizes spending on public health, digital transformation, and green transition in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to building physical health infrastructure, such as hospitals, EDCF also aims to build the capacity of medical personnel.

News article – Newsis (in Korean)

Japan provides US$10 million for vaccine data management systems in 7 African countries

On September 16, 2022, Japan signed a letter pledging ¥1.4 billion (US$10 million) to the Digital Health Systems Support Program to Combat Infectious Diseases in Africa UNICEF Partnership.

In the past year, reflections on the challenges faced at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Africa have emphasized the necessity of vaccination status follow-up and the implementation of a system that can manage vaccine-related data.

As a result of the new pledge, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will provide an immunization management system to respond to public health threats in seven African countries; Tunisia, Uganda, Congo, DRC, Benin, Malawi, and South Sudan. It is expected that the plan will contribute to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the revitalization of socioeconomic activities.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Italian NGO network publishes development priorities ahead of September elections

CINI, a network of seven international NGOs based in Italy, issued a joint statement on September 14, 2022, urging the political parties to prioritize the following development cooperation objectives ahead of the September 25, 2022, election:

  1. Increasing the resources allocated to Italy’s development cooperation, meeting the international 0.7% GNI/ODA target by 2030, reaching 0.5% by 2027, and prioritizing support to low- and middle-income countries while finding alternative funding sources for migration and asylum policies;
  2. Boosting the quality of Italy’s development cooperation through better planning, monitoring, and policy coherence;
  3. Mainstreaming gender equality across Italy’s humanitarian and development cooperation efforts, and further integrating gender equity into Italy’s foreign policy;
  4. Investing in preventive mechanisms and tools to build local capacity for countering future crises through investment in health systems, education programs, and social protection of the most vulnerable groups;
  5. Promoting a new external migration policy based on human rights protection and removing funding for repatriation programs from the budget, which received US$10 million in 2022; and 
  6. Supporting the fight against climate change through equitable ecological transitions domestically and abroad that reduce inequalities and actively engage young people. 

Report - CINI (in Italian)

Von der Leyen's State of the Union speech largely omits global development

The war in Ukraine and Europe’s energy crisis dominated European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech on September 14, 2022, with few mentions of global development beyond references to the EU’s Global Gateway investments in vaccine manufacturing in Africa. 

Von der Leyen briefly touched on what she characterized as the EU’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including securing 4 billion vaccine doses for Europeans and the rest of the world. She also mentioned the need for EU cooperation with other countries on global challenges like climate change and digitalization. Von der Leyen cited the success of similar efforts in global health, such as the Global Gateway investment initiative, which she announced in the 2021 State of the Union speech. She noted the initiative's capacity building in mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Rwanda and Senegal.

The speech contained far fewer policy announcements than the 2021 iteration, with the surprising omission of many issues, such as the global food security crisis, which von der Leyen only addressed in response to questions from the Members of the European Parliament following the speech.

Speech - European Commission

News article - Euractiv

News article - Politico

Canadian CSOs urge government to contribute US$904 million to Global Fund replenishment

After months of advocacy, a coalition of 14 civil society organizations (CSOs) is calling on Canada to pledge CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's (Global Fund) replenishment conference in New York City during the week of September 19, 2022. 

Since May 2022, the coalition has called on the federal government to contribute more to support the Global Fund. As the Global Fund now seeks to recover from setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund released its investment case calling on donors to collectively contribute US$18 billion - the minimum investment needed to save an estimated 20 million more lives. Among G7 nations, the US, Germany, and Japan have announced their support, committing to increase their pledges by 30% from the previous funding cycle. However, the Canadian government has not announced further support, drawing criticism from several CSOs.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

ONE calls on France to increase Global Fund commitment by 30%

On September 7, 2022, ahead of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), ONE France called on President Emmanuel Macron to increase France's financial commitment by 30% for the next three years (2023-2025).

ONE stressed the necessity of government action in a video on social networks. The short film highlighted the Global Fund's goal to save 20 million lives with funds from the upcoming replenishment.

The increase US$390 million increase for the Global Fund cycle would result in a total donation of US$1.7 billion.

Twitter - ONE France

Canada promises extra US$36 million for flood recovery, polio eradication in Pakistan

On September 13, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new funding to support flood response and polio eradication in Pakistan, totaling CA$48 million (US$36 million). 

Canada will allocate an additional CA$25 million (US$19 million) to respond to the flooding in Pakistan, in addition to a campaign to match donations up to a maximum of CA$3 million (US$2 million).

This funding announcement is in addition to Canada’s announcement on August 29, 2022, of CA$5 million (US$4 million) in disaster recovery assistance. In total, Canada has now provided CA$33 million (US$25 million) in assistance towards the flood response and longer-term recovery in Pakistan.

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan, also announced support of CA$20 million (US$15 million) to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), via the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to support polio eradication in Pakistan. The contribution is part of Canada’s ongoing CA$190 million (US$143 million) commitment to the GPEI.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

News article - CBC